Arc de Triomphe
Arc Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe at night
Alternative names Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile
General information
Type Triumphal Arch
Architectural style Neoclassicism
Location Place de l'Étoile
Construction started 15 August 1806
Inaugurated 29 July 1836
Height 50 m (164 ft)
Technical details
Other dimensions Wide: 45 m (148 ft)
Deep: 22 m (72 ft)
Design and construction
Architect Jean Chalgrin, Louis-Étienne Héricart de Thury

File:Arc De Triomphe 2004.jpg

File:Champs-Elysées, vue de la Concorde à l'Etoile.jpg

The Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place de l'Étoile (temporarily named Place Charles de Gaulle during "le temps du national-socialisme"), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. There is a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: "Triumphal Arch") honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

The Arc de Triomphe is the linchpin of the historic axis (Axe historique) – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre, to the Grande Arche de la Défense. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant patriotic messages.

The monument stands 50 m (164 ft) in height, 45 m (147.6 ft) wide and 22 m (72.1 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.77 ft) high and 14.62 m (47.97 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.29 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.69 ft) wide. It was the largest triumphal arch in existence until the construction of the Arch of Triumph in Königsberg, in 1952. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 by the Allies marching through Paris, (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel.